One Gigabit-per-second Broadband Internet Speed is Coming to the Berkeley Public Library!

October 19, 2015

Contact: Alicia Abramson
Manager, Information Technology
Berkeley Public Library
510- 981-6195

One Gigabit-per-second Broadband Internet Speed is Coming to the Berkeley Public Library!

Berkeley CA – October 19, 2015—The Berkeley Public Library is going live on a one Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) broadband Internet connection on Friday,  October 23, 2015!  Alicia Abramson, the Library’s Manager of Information Technology says, “The Library recently conducted surveys of the Berkeley community and Library staff. In both surveys, the number one priority of those who responded was to increase the Library’s Internet connection speed. We are thrilled to be able to address this vital need for Internet access and to improve community members’ experience when connecting to the Internet from the Library.”

The Library is an early participant in a joint initiative of the California State Library and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) to bring 1GB Broadband connections to all public libraries and public schools (K-20) in California by 2020. CENIC “operates the California Research and Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers and other vital public-serving institutions.”

The increases will greatly benefit the community and will provide speeds far greater than the speeds available at the majority of public libraries. According to a national study conducted by the National Institute for Museum & Library Studies, in 2013, public libraries reported an average download speed of 57Mbps. Because of the Library’s upgrade to Gigabit Broadband, the Library’s connection speed will result in a 20-fold increase from 50 Megabits-per-second (Mbps to 1,000 Mbps (or 1 Gigabit-per-second).

In addition to providing access to books, movies music and more, public libraries are Internet access gateways for both users with no home Internet access or those with slower-speed home Internet access. A 2012 Pew Research Center nationwide study found that 26% of all Americans use the library to access the Internet. These users connect to do research for school or work (66%), obtain information about health and wellness (47%), and apply for jobs (36%).

The Berkeley Public Library received a grant of $20,000 from the California State Library towards the purchase of new network equipment required in order to implement the speed upgrade.

The Berkeley Public Library opened in 1893 with 264 books. It now has a Central library located at 2090 Kittredge Street, Berkeley, CA 94704 and four state-of-the-art neighborhood branches with thousands of books, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs and online streaming and downloadable materials. For more information call 510-981-6195 or visit the library’s website.